Emerald Necklace Conservancy Announces Liff Spirit Award Recipient at 16th Annual Party In the Park Luncheon

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy is holding its must-attend Party in the Park luncheon to support the Justine Mee Liff Fund on May 15, 2019 at the Franklin Park Playstead. Each year, the fundraiser features the presentation of the Liff Spirit Award, which this year is being awarded to Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation for her indelible impact on the preservation of parks and open space. 

A special public conversation with Ott Lovell will also take place on May 16. 

Kathryn Ott Lovell’s work at the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Department, and previously the Fairmount Park Conservancy in Philadelphia, demonstrates a successful public-private partnership – a model the Emerald Necklace Conservancy strives to practice and hone for the benefit of Boston’s Emerald Necklace Parks. Through projects such as Reimagining the Civic Commons and programs like the annual Love Your Park Week and fall service days, the Parks on Tap traveling beer garden, and The Oval+ pop-up park, Kathryn’s example has set a gold standard for how municipal parks departments and privately funded nonprofit organizations can work together to create world class parks and programming for the benefit of all residents. Her successes in moving forward public-private partnerships in Philadelphia embody the spirit of Justine Mee Liff, who was a true convener and unifier.

“Public spaces have incredible power to uplift individuals and transform communities,” said Commissioner Ott Lovell. “It is a true honor to be considered for an award named after Justine Mee Liff, whose work as a champion of public spaces has influenced our contemporary approach to urban parks management and preservation.”

Proceeds from Party in the Park benefit the Justine Mee Liff Fund, named in honor of the late Boston Parks Commissioner, who served from 1996 until her untimely passing in 2002. Liff’s vision, leadership and dedication have encouraged a new generation of park supporters and advocates committed to the continual restoration and enhancement of the historic Olmsted-designed Emerald Necklace. Party in the Park continues Liff’s legacy of bringing people together to support and champion the parks. Since 2003, the Liff Fund has raised $10.3M to support the Emerald Necklace’s renewal initiatives, including major capital improvements such as the restoration of the Kelleher Rose Garden and Fountain; the Olmsted Tree Society’s urban forest management work, tree care, new planting and soil work; and new water fountain/bottle fillers, pathways and footbridges, signage and park furniture.

“The Liff Spirit Award is an opportunity to recognize the outstanding work of a green space champion, and to reflect on Justine’s enduring legacy of bringing public and private support together to improve our common space. Kathryn’s outstanding achievements exemplify that legacy, and we are thrilled to be able to recognize her at this year’s Party in the Park,” said Karen Mauney-Brodek, President of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy. “We are extremely proud of the work the Conservancy does each year to maintain, improve, and celebrate our parks, which are a vital part of our city, communities, environment and Frederick Law Olmsted’s legacy. We are grateful to our community for its passion and support, and to the Party in the Park committee, whose hard work and dedication ensure that this beloved event continues to make possible our improvements in the parks.”

Last year, the luncheon raised over $1.24 million for special restoration projects in the park system throughout Boston and Brookline. Held in spring for the past 15 consecutive years, the event attracts 800 of Boston’s most notable women and gentlemen for a stylish afternoon under a tent. Party in the Park will be held at Franklin Park, the largest park in the system at over 500 acres, and considered by Frederick Law Olmsted the “crowning jewel” of the Necklace.

•16th Annual Party in the Park Luncheon
Wednesday, May 15, 2019; Franklin Park Playstead, Pierpont Road, Boston

11:00am – Reception
12:00pm – Luncheon

Boston’s most generous philanthropists and park supporters will be in attendance at Party in the Park, widely considered the city’s “Must-Attend Fundraiser.” Nearly 800 women (and a growing number of brave gentlemen) will mingle under a tent on the picturesque grounds of the Playstead in Franklin Park, wearing their finest millinery. From picture hats and fascinators to cloches and pillboxes, every conceivable type of headgear will be on display. Festive spring décor, including stunning Winston Flowers arrangements, will grace the venue while attendees enjoy a champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception, courtesy of The Catered Affair, before lunch is served. Additional fundraising opportunities to benefit the Justine Mee Liff Fund include an exciting “fund-a-need” auction and a luxury raffle at the luncheon. Members of the public are invited to purchase tickets online at  https://www.emeraldnecklace.org/party-in-the-park/purchase-tickets/

•Meeting Our Climate Future: Lessons in Public-Private Parks Partnerships

Thursday, May 16, 2019; Wilmington Trust Offices, 280 Congress Street, Suite 1300, Boston

5:30pm – Registration and networking

6:00pm – Program

To complement Ott Lovell’s acceptance of the Liff Spirit Award at Party in the Park, a free, public discussion will take place featuring Ott Lovell, Philadelphia Parks Commissioner and 2019 Party in the Park Liff Spirit Awardee; Chris Cook, Chief, Environment, Energy, and Open Space and Commissioner, Parks and Recreation, Boston; and Karen Mauney-Brodek, President, Emerald Necklace Conservancy. The conversation will focus on the shared goals of public parks departments and private parksorganizations, as well as the role of partnerships between these two groups in preparing for our climate future. The program will be followed by a reception. To learn more and register to attend, visit https://www.emeraldnecklace.org/event/meeting-our-climate-future/

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